Archive for 2009

At Sock Camp Knitty Ha-ha

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Arrived here in Port Ludlow, WA, a few hours outside of Seattle. Long day of getting up too early and now heading to bed too late.

Great people, both new and returning campers. Much gratitude to Tina, the Sockateers and teachers for creating this annual madcap event. Yarn was bought. More news to come.

Sleep and the wilted foam pad that’s masquerading as “a futon” are calling my name.

Messin’ with Texas

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

I’ve made it to Austin and the madness that is SxSWi. I arrived after 5pm yesterday, so no panels, just registration and checking into the hotel, the stately, rumored haunted, oil baron establishment named the Driskill.

I didn’t run into anyone, so I headed down South Congress for a bowl of queso and dinner. Sadly, Magnolia Café isn’t the finest cuisine, but the chips and melted cheese certainly made up for it!

I didn’t feel up to braving any lines to get into sponsored parties and stand around by myself, so I opted for a suburban night-at-the-mall with geeks at The Watchmen (where I sat around by myself). It’s a very long, very dark, very hyperreal (including cgi full-frontal smurfy muscleman nudity), wonderful movie with some killer action and fights. Never having read the graphic novel, I don’t have an opinion as to whether it’s a good adaptation or not. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed all two hours and 47 minutes if it and want to check out the original.

Today was chock-full of panels, seeing old friends, meeting new ones and getting my mind stimulated on topics of team dynamics, iPhone gaming and productive creativity. A hefty Mongolian bbq lunch hanging with knitters and putting faces to Twitter profiles was the highlight.

As always, going full-tilt all day certainly takes it out of me. I should have napped before dinner or gone for a run or taken a bath instead of fiddling with the hotel wireless and doing work.

For dinner, I’m sitting at the bar of a new wine place (Mulberry) with raw salmon drizzled with hot oil and fried capers and a side of sautéed spinach. At first, I felt out of place in this Sex in the City re-enactment of chatty girlfriends, but the food transcended this yuppie faux industrial + Danish modern wine box.

In 45 minutes, the #sxswhomo crowd is going to guerilla gay nerd take over a local gay bar, Oil Can Harry’s for the Austinites. Should be fun, but I really need to rest and want to try to squeeze in a run first thing in the AM.

Tomorrow night is the web awards and my work has a site up for an honor in the Activism category. The agency that built it is here so I’ll be there ready to cheer. Cross your fingers for us!

Off to Austin Again

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I’ll be headed back to the Lone Star State for SxSW Interactive 3/13-17. It’s my third time to Austin and fast become something that I look forward to each year.

There are so many reasons to love it: great town, great food (mas queso), great knitters (like the aptly named Julia Yarnmaven), great yarn stores, and great geek-dom for all things online.

See me speak at SXSW 2009 (

Guess what? This year, I’m presenting at the conference, well, it’s not so much presenting as facilitating a discussion. They call it a Core Conversation.

My topic: Commu(k)nity: Lessons for Marketers from Online Crafting. It’s something I’m intimately entwined with, as I spend more hours a-marketing than I do a-knitting.

Let’s celebrate what we do online and encourage companies to support authentic, passionate groups of people who come together, not just make money off them or following the latest new media buzzword. If you’re around, come by and share your $0.02 on how Ravelry, Knitty, Etsy and Craftster are models for how people want to interact with one another. It’s Monday, 3/16, 5:00pm, so y’all come, y’hear?

For all the knitters who will be attending, Julia has created a knittingSxSWI wiki so we can plan our purls. It makes me smile to see knitters represented among the coders, designers and bloggers, so brandish your needles! In the past, I met one of my favorite podcasters, Jenny (and Harold) of Stash and Burn, mingled with Canadian-turned-Bostonian-formerly-Austinite Caro Split Yarn and had cocktails with TV hostess with the most-est and author and columnist Vickie Howell.

What will 2009 bring? I get to hang with a new friend, James. I’m always happy to spend time with Julia and visit The Knitting Nest. Cat from Let’s Knit 2gether video podcast will be there. And who knows who else!

So, if you see a guy in his mid-30s working on a sock or weaving in the ends of a glove or a cowl, good chance it’s me! Say hello and let’s get a beer or a coffee or a taco or piece of ground to sit and talk.

Faire au crochet ou tricotter?

Friday, March 6th, 2009

What’s up, France? Don’t you know the difference between crochet and knitting? There’s a new custom handmade business that’s similar to the Swiss NetGranny’s socks on-demand and the Danish (Grandma.Now) baby clothes and accessories.

Golden Hook is a site that allows you to create a customized crocheted hat by a French grandmother. In both the English and French copy they use the word “knit” or “tricotter” despite the hats in all the photos are clearly crocheted! Heck, even the business name has the word “hook” in it!

Knit and crochet aren’t the same. Sure both use yarn, but just as German Deutsch and Austrian Deutsch are theoretically the same language, the results are very different!

Knitting: Men in America survey

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Kyle, who I met at the Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat last year, is heading up a project that’s looking at men who knit in America. It’s called Knitting: Men in America. Pretty catchy name, eh?

He’s looking for knitters to help out by taking a short survey.

Both MEN & WOMEN can participate in this general survey regarding knitters as individuals, their stash of materials and general info about who they are (education, income levels, marital status, etc).

It’s an ambitious project, and I’m looking forward to see it take shape. Kyle says, “The more information we have the better of our knitting society and the way male knitters are viewed.”

I’m all for that!

You are beautiful.

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Dustin Lance Black’s acceptance speech for Best Screenplay, MILK.

Sock Summit 2009

Friday, February 20th, 2009
Sock Summit!

Phew! I can finally say this now: I’ll be teaching at Sock Summit in Portland, OR, August 6-9, 2009. I kept quiet ever since I got the call from Stephanie. You’d think a harlot would do anything you say, but in this knitting world, you do whatever The Yarn Harlot says.

“You’re teaching, and keep your trap shut about it!” (I paraphrase.)
“Yes, Ma’am!” (My exact words to whatever she tells me to do. But, I did tell my mom. Don’t tell Stephanie!)

They’ve just posted a list of the teachers, and I can barely believe that I’m mentioned in such experienced and innovative company! I’m happy just to read some of these people’s books! I wonder if we’ll all hang out together…

I’m imagining a large door, that’s always locked and closed with a Teacher’s Lounge sign. Just like the one in my elementary school. Inside, there’s a haze of cigarette smoke hanging in the air, the scent of stale coffee and a faint hint of hair spray and make-up. (My elementary days were in the late 70s/early 80s.) What mysteries lurk inside the knitting teacher’s lounge?

Perhaps, not so much with the smoke and the over-the-top cosmetics. Probably a better vibe in the room, as mutual respect combines with the energy from the throngs of sock knitters all assembled in one place. I was too young to notice any covert drinking at Floyd Elementary in Derry, NH, but with this crowd, you never know, covert or overt! Over the din of needles clicking, a soft murmur of conversation flows.

Cat, are you knitting the instep, turning a heel and binding off the cuff at the same time in a Mobius addi-Turbo tangle?”
“Why, no, Judy. That’s your magical cast-on done upside-down on its head to the tune of a hummingbird’s song!”
“How many asymmetrical twisting cables over lace are in there, Cookie?”
“People, please keep that wool away from Amy!”
Meg, both you and your mother are two of my biggest inspirations!”
“Look, Anna’s yarn matches Lucy’s hair!”
Marjan, have you been to the US before?”
“Is that vintage you’re wearing, Nancy?”
Tina, I love what you’ve done with the Convention Center.”
“There she goes. JC is always casting-on, again and again.”
“Did you drop your beads, Sivia?”
“Well, I think that’s sensational, Charlene!”
“STEPHEN! Get that needle out of your nose!”

Alas, I have a little more than five months to get my act together and make myself presentable to both teachers and students. Some, I’ll be too shy to smile and say hello to. Other, I may want to tongue kiss, but I’d settle for a hug. For everyone who’s teaching or attending, and mostly to Stephanie and Tina it will be an honor and a blessing to be there with you.

Thanks, Tina and Stephanie, for making knitting heaven on Earth.

Belated Valentine

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Just wanted to share how I spent my VD with you, my tens of readers.

It was a rare privilege to see John Cameron Mitchell perform songs from Hedwig and the Angry Inch live before and after a screening of his award-winning movie,, based on his original musical (of which I’ve only seen LA and SF productions).

Enjoy two versions from different performances (one with better sound, one with multiple camera angles) of my favorite song from the show, “The Origin of Love.”


As you can imagine, this was my favorite VD ever.

Y KNIT 18: Natural reVERBerations

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

The next episode of Y KNIT is up. This one is all about one of my favorite local fiberistas, Kristine Vejar, the woman behind A Verb for Keeping Warm fiber/yarn/natural dying/spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting extravaganza!

photo by WonderMike.

Handspun for breakfast

Friday, January 23rd, 2009


Better than peanut butter and good for what ails you. Thanks, Kris!